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Seatbelt Injury Statistics

Posted on: June 29, 2017 by Edwards & Patterson Law

seatbelt injury

Seatbelts save lives and reduce injuries. It is a proven fact that seatbelt usage for adults and older children is the most effective way to save lives and prevent injuries in the event of an accident. The most recent seatbelt injury statistics support this premise. And yet, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, literally millions of drivers and passengers do not buckle up on every trip.

Statistics Favor Seatbelt Use

The following seatbelt injury statistics lend weight to the argument of seatbelt use and injury prevention. Follow the links for more information regarding each.

Oklahoma Seatbelt Injury Statistics

The following statistics are closer to home. Oklahomans are not immune to automobile accidents and failure to wear seatbelts on every trip.

  • Between 2003 and 2012, 5871 people were killed in automobile accidents in Oklahoma.
  • Approximately 84% of drivers and front seat passengers in Oklahoma regularly wear seatbelts. This is slightly below the national average.
  • Among the 458 automobile fatality victims in Oklahoma in 2015, 7% (223 of 458) were not using a seatbelt or child restraint.
  • Among 31,299 victims injured in automobile accidents in Oklahoma in 2015, 8% (2430 of 31,299) were not using seatbelts or child restraints.

Seatbelt Use is the Law

There is no doubt that seatbelt injury statistics have had a tremendous impact on current seatbelt laws. Wearing seatbelts is the law in every state except New Hampshire. In 29 states and the District of Columbia, rear seat occupants are also required to wear seatbelts. In 34 states and the District of Columbia, law enforcement officers can stop vehicles for the sole reason of a seatbelt violation. This includes Oklahoma. In other states, they must have another primary reason for stopping a motorist before issuing a citation for seatbelt violations. Follow this link for more information regarding Oklahoma’s seatbelt law.

Seatbelt usage or non-usage can also have implications in civil suits in 16 states which allow courts to reduce damages resulting from an automobile crash if the victim was not wearing a seatbelt. Currently, Oklahoma is not one of those states. In fact, Oklahoma law clearly bans the use of any evidence related to seatbelt use or non-use in civil trials. This issue has been debated in Oklahoma courts since the 1970s, and there is little support in the state to change existing laws prohibiting seatbelt use or non-use having any weight in civil suits.

Edwards and Patterson Law encourages all Oklahoma drivers to follow the law and wear seatbelts on every trip. Although seatbelt use or non-use cannot be an issue in civil suits, if you have been in an accident in McAlester, Tulsa or eastern Oklahoma, contact us online or by phone at 877-403-8417 for a free consultation regarding your legal rights. You pay absolutely no attorney fees unless you are awarded damage compensation by the courts.

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  • Contact Edwards & Patterson Law Firm today for a free consultation.
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